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The role of body mass index (BMI) as an independent risk factor and prognostic factor in breast cancer – A hospital based epidemiological study

Author: 
Vidhya Lakshmi, Kharishma Nair and Karthikeyan Shanmugam
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Objectives: To study the role of Body Mass Index as an independent risk factor and prognostic factor in breast cancer. Methods: A hospital based epidemiological study was conducted in a tertiary care hospital in India involving 50 patients with a diagnosis of breast cancer who visited the Medical Oncology outpatient department for a period of 3 months. 50 age matched controls who had no detectable breast cancers were selected as controls. Their body mass index was calculated. Data including stage of breast cancer, lymph node status and presence of metastasis, histological type, grade of the tumour and hormone receptor status. (ER, PR and Her 2 neu) were tabulated. Additional information regarding menstrual, menopausal status, co-morbidities like Diabetes mellitus, hypertension and epilepsy was also gathered. Results: The mean age of patients was 53.8 years and that of controls was 49.08 years. 56 % of cases and 44% of controls were post menopausal. 20 patients and 10 controls were diabetic; 14 patients and 9 controls were hypertensive and 2 patients and 2 controls had hypothyroidism. The odds ratio which quantifies the risk of association of breast cancer and obesity is 0.339 in premenopausal women and 0.045 in post menopausal women. The number of triple negative breast cancers was more in I and II classes of body mass index. Obesity grade 2 and 3 were also associated with advanced disease, including larger tumor size, positive lymph nodes, regional and/or distant stage and deaths after breast cancer. Conclusion: There is a statistically significant association between obesity and breast cancer in post menopausal women but the same is not applicable in pre menopausal women.

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